Understanding Sexual Violence in Congo

November 10, 2010

Welcome to a new podcast series with our host, Amy Costello. Each week, Amy will be talking to people who have responded creatively to the plight of women living in conflict zones.

For our first episode, we go to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a region that has been called the “rape capital of the world,” with some 200,000 cases of sexual abuse documented in the past 12 years in Eastern Congo alone. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is trying to better understand where, when and why sexual violence is happening in Congo.

Jocelyn Kelly, a Research Coordinator for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, has interviewed local rebels in Eastern Congo, to try and understand why soldiers perpetrate these crimes against women. Dr. Julie VanRooyen is a gynecologic surgeon and Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She is documenting the ways that women respond physically and psychologically to rape and sexual abuse.

Listen to the podcast by clicking below, or find us on iTunes.


  1. Catherine Campbell says:

    Very good. Sad and seems to be a way of life, for demoralized men to have someone they can take it out on, like low people in society looking to find and confirm there is someone lower than them and feeling it by abuse.

  2. Anna says:

    The members of 5 for Fairness recently supported The Panzi Hospital/HHI with our first $5000 grant. It is great to hear more about the important work they are doing.

    Anna McDonnell

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